Why change is so hard plus my theme for 2013. Will you join me?
Happy New Year!
We’ve heard it 1000 times before: A majority of us who make resolutions don’t keep them.
Total Reading Time: 4 FUN minutes.
Resolutions are all about change.
Hence the question why is change so damn hard.
And I think we can all agree it is.
Otherwise, every person would be the ideal version of themselves, if not all the time, most of the time. Every person (well at least the self-aware among us) would be more patient, compliant, and reliable along with many other qualities we seek to improve in ourselves.
But there’s more to it than that.
When we want to change something, we’re uncovering a desire.
Let’s use exercise and eating right as an example. What’s the reason for wanting to exercise and eat right?
Because we want to feel (and look) as good as we can for ourselves.
So a part of us wants to do the necessary things in order to feel that way — namely eat right and exercise *consistently*
A part of us wants to stay the same — eating indulgently and doing other things with our time besides exercising.
This causes cognitive dissonance — here in referred to as CD.
My definition of cognitive dissonance (CD): the discomfort we feel when we have two conflicting desires.
Now that we have these two conflicting desires there will always be CD.
1. We actually eat right and exercise consistently (this is the hardest thing to do) aka take action
2. We find ways to rationalize NOT taking action (this is the easiest and most common thing to do)
Some things we might say to ourselves:
“I’ll wait until I have more time.” “Being healthy and fit isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.” “I only live once (YOLO!).” “It’s too expensive to eat healthy.” And on and on…
The rationalizations we come up with make perfect sense in our minds…until they don’t.
The purpose of these rationalizations: To reduce the CD — this is known as dissonance reduction.
Until we start to see through them.
Until we see ourselves in a picture. Or in the mirror. Or we try something on and we hate how we look and feel.
And suddenly, we wished we were in better shape.
We realize that desire never went away. We just covered that desire up with piles of rationalizations.
TWO WAYS TO GET WHAT YOU WANT
Actually getting what you want aka doing the work necessary to get it OR changing what you want aka rationalizing with ourselves that we don’t want it — whatever “it” might be.
We do this with so many aspects of our lives. Not only in fitness.
THE ROADMAP TO SUCCESS (AND HAPPINESS)
Chris Paul, the all-star point guard for the Los Angeles Clippers, said this after winning 11 straight games this season:
“It’s good when you win. I told everyone on the team, the food tastes better. The music sounds better. You sleep a little bit better. Everything is a little bit better when you win. We just have to keep it going.”
They went onto win 17 straight games.
Even if you’re not a basketball fan this resonates.
For him…winning is simply winning basketball games. But it’s also way more fun. Everything is better. LIFE is better.
For us, I think, winning (and happiness) is working towards what we truly desire, and getting more of what we really want.
So many people have these desires yet never act on them. Not taking consistent action on something that we want (as much as our short term / irrational mind tries to convince us otherwise) doesn’t feel good. It wears on us.
I think a big part of why clients report being so much happier is because they’re finally taking consistent action on something that’s so important to them: health and fitness.
Either we’re working towards what we really want or we’re working away from it. Either we’re taking control or we’re not.
As I like to remind my clients, existing is easy. Anyone can exist.
Living is harder. It takes some work.
And then there’s thriving which I think we all want to do. Thriving, though, takes a lot of work.
Chris Paul and his team are clearly thriving.
Do you think he and his teammates are having more fun than the worst team in the NBA? Of course!
Are they having more fun even though it took a ton of work and effort to get to where they are? Of course!
THE ONLY WAY TO CHANGE YOUR OUTCOMES IS TO CHANGE YOUR ACTIONS
If we keep on eating and exercising the way we always have, we’re going to keep on looking and feeling the way we always do.
Changing our actions is very hard because it’s uncomfortable.
Change by nature is uncomfortable.
For example, typically, if a plate of cookies appeared in front of us, we’d dig in.
The more comfortable thing to do in the moment — the easiest thing to do – would be to take a plate or napkin and take a few cookies and eat them.
The harder — the more uncomfortable thing to do — would be to skip the cookies and save our indulgences for when it’s really and truly worthwhile.
Or let’s say it’s after a long day of work, and we don’t feel like exercising.
So we don’t. We plop on the couch and choose the more comfortable thing to do….watch TV. Rather than the more uncomfortable thing to do — actually exercising.
HOW DO WE KNOW IF OUR ACTIONS ARE LEADING US IN THE RIGHT WAY?
Whenever we have a choice — let’s try to choose the harder — the more uncomfortable route — the majority of the time.
In other words: Discomfort is our compass.
I guarantee that if you do, success will happen. You will get more of what you want.
Because when we’re changing our actions, our outcomes will change too.
Most people spend their days looking forward to the extremely rare moments when everything goes right. When there is no discomfort at all.
But imagine how much of an advantage we’d have if we spent our time maximizing those moments when it doesn’t. When discomfort is right in front of our faces.
Again, this doesn’t only apply to fitness.
THE REAL PURPOSE OF “WINNING”
No this isn’t a Charlie Sheen reference. The real purpose of winning — of getting more of what we want in our lives is increased happiness.
And we have two choices. We can either remain where we are, or can work towards what we really want for ourselves — even though it’ll require some effort and work and discomfort.
Do you think Chris Paul is regretting a single second of effort and discomfort he’s endured to get to where he is right now?
Too often we give up what we MOST want for what we (mistakenly) think we want in the moment — comfort.
THE MAGIC INGREDIENT (You Might Already Know the Answer)
It’s daily and personal accountability + daily support.
Otherwise, it’s very hard to sustain the effort required in order to get to where we want to be. Otherwise, it’s very hard to consistently push through the discomfort.
There’s a reason why the most successful people in all walks of life have support.
I know I’m biased but I’ve seen first hand what daily and personal accountability has done for 1000’s of people of all ages, sizes and shapes.
You know what’s uncomfortable? Admitting that we might need some help. Hint: Are you in the same place you were a year ago?
THE FRIEND WHO DRIVES YOU CRAZY ASKING YOU QUESTIONS ABOUT THEIR BOYFRIEND / GIRLFRIEND
You know those friends who ask you question after question about their boyfriend / girlfriend and you know EXACTLY what they should do? Yet they insist on doing the same thing over and over?
“I know he likes me.” “I’m telling you…she’s into me.”
This is after like the 1000th time they’re upset by that person.
“He/she makes me happy when I’m with them, though!”
As they say — for many people, “Better the devil you know.”
You know why people do that?
Because it’s more comfortable.
It’s more comfortable than ending it, moving on and finding someone better for you.
It seems amazing how many people would prefer to “jog in place” year after year rather than get the help they need.
Again, this applies to every aspect of life.
But when we understand why they’re doing it – it makes a lot of sense.
2013 IS GOING TO BE THE YEAR OF…
DISCOMFORT. Discomfort always leads to results.
My confidence in MBT comes directly as a result of helping so many people. And if I want MBT to impact as many people as I hope it will, I have to put forth world class effort.
And you know what?
World class effort requires discomfort.
I INVITE YOU TO JOIN ME IN MAKING 2013 THE YEAR OF DISCOMFORT FOR YOU.
Not only in fitness but in other aspects of your life too.
THE BEST PRODUCTIVITY TOOL YOU’VE EVER ENCOUNTERED
One of my clients told me the best productivity tool he’s ever encountered is better health.
Focusing on your health will make you happier but it’ll also allow you to do everything else better.
Choice by choice let’s choose the discomfort whenever possible.
And slowly but surely, we’ll start getting more of what we want.
IF YOU’RE TRULY HONEST WITH YOURSELF…
Will you be able to continually push through the discomfort? Cool. See you at the top!
No? Consider getting someone to personally hold you accountable on a daily basis. Someone who has been there and done it. It’ll sky rocket your results AND happiness.
Consider joining MyBodyTutor. I truly live for what I do and I’m extremely confident I can help you take control of your health and fitness. So much so that I offer a 100% money back guarantee.
Here’s to a really uncomfortable 2013…aka highly successful year.
Ready to get uncomfortable (aka see amazing results and take control of your health and fitness) in 2013? Learn more about MBT right now by clicking here. You won’t regret it.